Looking at mortgage rates in Ontario can be enough to give you a splitting headache, given the increase in interest rates in Canada over the last several months on top of the fact that jumping into home ownership for the first time can be incredibly confusing.
But if you're thinking about jumping into the Ontario real estate market, the main thing you need to know is whether you make enough money to qualify for a mortgage.
In a recently published report on housing affordability by RBC, Economist Robert Hogue dives into those numbers and offers both a current and future perspective on Canada's housing market.
How do you qualify for a mortgage in Ontario?
Looking specifically at Ontario's two largest cities, Toronto and Ottawa, buying a home has only become less and less affordable lately.
"Ottawa has joined the club of affordability-challenged markets in Canada," the report from RBC reads.
In the nation's capital, home buyers need a pre-tax income of at least $148,970 – that's up from $116,506 a year ago.
The report referred to housing affordability in Toronto as having reached "crisis territory," with a take-home of at least $240,470 needed to qualify for a mortgage. That's a jump of nearly $55,000 compared to a year ago.
To put these numbers into perspective, the average salary in Ontario brings most people nowhere close to these figures. According to Talent.com, the average Ontario salary in 2023 is $41,925 while most "experienced workers" earn up to $90,274.
But, there is hope for some good news on the way.
Affordability will improve in 2023
According to RBC, the "low point" for housing affordability across Canada is likely right around the corner.
"Widespread price declines—especially in Ontario and BC—should help lower ownership costs once interest rates stabilize. We expect benchmark prices to fall 14% nationwide from the peak by next spring," said the report.
The bank said it sees the trend of price lowering in Ottawa continuing throughout 2023 and said a rollback of "outsized price gains" in Toronto is required to "stabilize the market."
Adding to the situation in Toronto, January figures from the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) showed the average price of a home in the GTA fell 14% to $1,066,668.
"The expectation is that this trend will continue," said TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer on the slowly improving picture for housing prices and mortgage rates — "Further helping with affordability as we move through 2023."
But patience is key.
According to RBC, it will "likely take years" before we see any big changes to the housing market.